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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:07 pm 
Another newbie DSLR customer here, trying to figure out what the best value is for wine tastes on beer budget!

I've narrowed my search down to either the Canon 350/XT or 400/XTi but the reviews of the kit lens leave me less than enthusiastic.

I can save almost $200 US on the XT body over the XTi and then drop another $500 US on the EF-S 17-85mm IS lens. Aside from the large LCD, is the AF system on the XTi worth the extra $200? (I could care less about the dust system and 10MP)

If I were to go with the XTi body, with that nicer lens I'm now pushing the price up to where the 30D and Nikon D80 kit's live. Assuming I can convince my wife to spend that much, would I be better served by one of these more pro-sumer models and suffer with their non-IS kit lenses for a while? (BTW, does the 30D come with the same kit lens as the Rebel's?)

The main use of this will be for day-to-day shots of my young kids, including a lot of indoor sports, as well as of some ice hockey games which are notoriously badly lit. (I will eventually want to supplement with a 200 or 300mm IS/VR zoom someday too)

Thanks for any help!

-Eric


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:51 pm 
Hi Eric, Firstly I presume that all of the Canon cameras that you mention come in either body only or kit form here in the UK the 350D, 400D and the 30D come with the standard EF-S 18-55 in kit form anything above that is only on special deals that come around from time to time. Canon are on a special cash back at the moment for their 20th Anniversary here in the UK, I expect that the deal is the same worldwide.

I paid £474 (approx $938) as a kit with the 18-55 lens and a week later paid £349 (approx $690) for the EF-S 17-85 IS USM and what a difference with the IS taking out all of the shake and the USM so quiet.

Looking at the tech specs 350D 8.0Mp, 400D 10.1Mp, 350D 7 point AF, 400D 9 point AF, both cameras can shoot continuous at 3fps but the 350D for only up to 14 JPEG images compared to the 400D upto 27 JPEG images, I needed the higher capacity in a single burst to be able to capture High Speed Trains here in the UK travellig at speeds in the region of 100 - 120 mph.
BTW the 17-85 lens is just as good at capturing kids sitting or running around as well. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:35 pm 
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Hi Eric, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

Roy's right, Canon supply the same 18-55mm kit lens in 350D / XT, 400D / XTi and 30D kits. It's certainly the weak point in the Canon system, but for day to day shots, it's actually not all that bad. It's only when you start trying to get it to work quickly or under very low light that you begin to notice its budget nature. And it sounds like you'd notice that in your sports events.

The Nikkor kit lenses, whether the 18-55, 18-70 or 18-135mm are all classier than the Canon 18-55mm and we recently compared them here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikko ... roup_test/

The D80 is also a more powerful camera than the XTi, but you'll be paying extra for features you may not use - and an XT or XTi with the EF-S 17-85mm IS is a better combo than the D80 with the 18-55mm.

As for the XT versus the XTi, if you can get a good saving on the former, then go for it, as there's not a great deal of difference. If the amount is small though, I'd go for the XTi, if only to have better resale value from the more recent model.

Ultimately it sounds like your target photography would seriously benefit from an upgrade in the kit lens, whichever manufacturer or system you end up with.

If you can afford a 30D or D80 with a better lens from day-one (or very soon after), then that'd be my choice. But if it's between a 30D or D80 with a basic 18-55mm kit lens (for some time), or the XT / XTi with a decent lens from day-one, I'd go for the latter.

Don't forget to also check out our 400D kit lens upgrade article to see the differences you can expect with a better model:

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Cano ... s_upgrade/

Hope that helps!

Gordon


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